Monday 11 February 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Everyone is unique, so why do some companies struggle to see their customers as individuals rather than an unconnected series of accounts held on disparate IT systems? Surely it would be better if all the relevant data about a customer and the various interaction with your organisation was linked together in a consistent way into a single information view? Not only would that help make those interactions more informed and efficient, but it would also enable you to develop valuable strategic insights about your business and ultimately will provide a mechanism to assist with a transition from a more traditional product-led business to a truly customer-led organisation.
Achieving a Single Customer View (SCV) remains a huge challenge for many building societies, challenger banks and financial service providers. Experian recently identified that a staggering 92% of companies do not have access to a SCV. So why is it so difficult to achieve?
The answer to this question lies within the rapid and exponential growth of data and data sources within the average organisation over the last two decades. As organisations have grown so have their data estates resulting in fragmented, siloed systems. Due to their lack of commonality these systems have traditionally proven difficult to connect, making the SCV seem like an unobtainable dream. However, advances in data management and matching technology mean that achieving a SCV is now a realistic ambition for all organisations and should be high on the list for consideration by any management team looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant in the current business landscape.
What are benefits of a SCV?
- Improve customer trust – Trust is a huge factor for customers these days and one which when done badly can have disastrous consequences, therefor it is essential that your customer’s data is carefully maintained securely and that they only receive relevant offers and information, customers won’t appreciate being overloaded with poorly targeted information. The SCV provides you with an up-to-date view of your customers data ensuring you’re only communicate with your customers when and how they want.
- Guided marketing – The insight unlocked by the SCV provides you the ability to focus your marketing efforts directly towards your customer needs and requirements, allowing you to supply relevant and useful information at key points during their customer journey. A recent survey found that targeted CTA’s had 42% higher view-to-submission rate than generic CTA’s. Now is the time to get personal.
- Improved customer service – Customers expect a seamless customer service journey, they don’t want to repeat their complaint or challenge, regardless of the channel they have contacted you via. The SCV has the ability to provide you with a real time, accurate view of your customer interaction data allowing you to offer your customers a seamless service that will ensure they feel valued and appreciated.
- Predict the future – It’s simple, the more you know about your customers past behaviour and interactions the better you will be able to anticipate what they will want next. The data can be used and modelled to predict future demand helping you to not only effortlessly meet their individual requirements but to also provide your organisation with the insight necessary to help you save critical business time, money and resources
- Increase revenue – The ultimate business end goal is the positive impact the SCV will have on your organisation, when executed well a SCV can make a dramatic difference to your business not only are your targeting your marketing and sales efforts better but you are also able to gain a clearer picture of your current customers, helping you to identify areas that you hadn’t seen before ultimately having a positive impact on your bottom-line
For the faint hearted achieving a SCV may seem like an impossible task but it is worth its weight in gold for the long term success of your organisation and trust us once a SCV is achieved the rewards are endless ensuring you stay ahead of their competition and retail happy customers.
How can you achieve a SCV?
- Set clear objectives – Sounds simple enough but many companies rush off before spending vital time to plan and set clear objectives, trust us this time will pay off in the long run
- T&C’s – In a post GDPR world it is essential that your Privacy Policies and T&C’s are up to date, transparent and easily accessible by your customers
- Look at your data estate – The data you require may be spread out across your organisation, it’s now time to pull together the data sources, map their locations and understand how you will obtain a live stream from this source
- Data cleansing – The collation of your data will highlight discrepancies such as duplicates, incorrect formats and missing values. At this point you may need to carry out an exercise to improve the quality of your data or re-evaluate what data you want to capture – this is often one of the most time consuming steps but without it your SCV won’t be accurate and the insight you gain will be miss leading
- Set up your data stream – You’ve done the hard work of steps one to four it’s now time put your SCV into action and start to pull all of your data streams into one single searchable system
- Build your customer profiles – The end goal is to segment on an induvial customer basis to allow you to target each customer with specific campaigns and messaging, if you aren’t quite ready for that stage start by segmenting customers into smaller groups try grouping traits, trends and patterns you identify within your data. This new insight can be used by your marketing and sales teams to target specific and tailored campaigns and messaging – don’t forget a SCV isn’t just for potential new customers but for current customers as well
- Refine and reflect – As with all projects it’s important to take stock of what you have accomplished, refine, evolve and move forward. It might be that you are ready to reduce your customer segment size or that you need to collect different data sources or introduce a data cleansing programme. Maybe you need to set up new web collection forms, build a customer app, run competitions or a reward based loyalty program to gain access to up to date and accurate data, either way it is important to evaluate, improve and evolve